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Filling out the FAFSA after a divorce

Texas parents who have college-bound children understandably can have concerns about paying for college. When it comes time to fill out financial aid forms, it is important for divorced or divorcing parents to know what information must be provided. As explained by U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid, knowing what must be provided on a financial aid form has as much if not more to do with where parents live than it does their legal married status.

Financial details for both spouses will be required if they live in the same household together, even if they are divorced or separated. If, however, parents are divorced or separated and live separately, only financial information for one parent will be required.

When determining which parent's informaiton should be provided, there are two factors to consider. The first is with whom the student spent the most time in a given year. Commonly, children spend more time with one parent than the other and this will then determine the financial reporting. In cases where parents share time equally, information should be given about the parent who provided the largest amount of financial support in that year.

Forbes explains that schools can request confirmation of a living arrangement so it is always important to make sure that legal agreements match information reported. When providing a parent's financial information, if that parent has remarried then the accompanying stepparent's information should also be reported. Requests about parental education levels, however, refer only to biological or adoptive parents, not stepparents.



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